One of the updates to Apple Wallet in iOS 15 is letting people scan their driver’s license. But is that a good thing?

One major question is how Apple users and law enforcement like TSA agents will actually interact with these digital IDs. If your driver’s license is on your phone, you could potentially have to present your fully unlocked device to a law enforcement agent in a transaction like a traffic stop or at airport security. That could, in turn, expose you to incidental search of your data, social media accounts, or anything else the agent flicks to.

Check It Out: Should You Digitize Your ID With iOS 15?

8 Comments Add a comment

  1. John F. Braun

    Right now the security on a driver’s license is mainly forensics (get a UV flashlight some time, or, you may have seen the nice TSA officer shine one on your license to reveal the forensics, which makers of fakes often get wrong) the barcode contains all of the data printed on the license, and is not protected in any way. So if Apple wants this to be truly secure it’ll have to be something a bit more sophisticated than just digitizing your ID.

  2. W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

    Andrew:

    This one is easy. Agree with others here, this as well as other specific identification, tickets, passes, digital keys etc can be called up on a locked screen; just like our electronic boarding passes are automatically displayed at boarding time.

    This could be done by the user on command to Siri, or even by law enforcement or first responders using a unique transponder associated with their badge identification number (for regulatory and legal tracing of such activity in order to protect the public) for persons who are non-responsive and may have no other form of identification.

    For law enforcement in particular, one’s badge, like one’s sidearm, should be in the officer’s possession at all times, and if used, should be the subject of a formal report; thereby preventing unauthorised use and other forms of abuse.

    • Sailor HG

      I’d prefer a “contactless payment” pad at each TSA station, where you could touch your locked phone to the pad and your ID and ticket information would appear on a screen at the agent’s desk. Assuming they don’t harvest that data, of course… I suppose that kind of restriction would have to be built into the kiosk software. This idea could be implemented in a handheld unit for use by law enforcement as well.

  3. Eric Toop

    I have no issues with this. Apple has proven to me that I can trust them. They haven’t done anything as of yet for me to distrust that they wouldn’t protect my data.

  4. Brutno

    Agree with paikinho. Perhaps Siri could show your license but only if you enter your passcode, with the code only opening your license. The phone would remain locked. Or the same scenario but unlocking via Touch ID. I like the Siri/passcode idea because it would not invoke Face ID.

  5. geoduck

    Should I digitize my ID? I sure don’t plan to. First is the issue above. By giving them an unlocked phone I am giving them permission to do anything they see fit, to grab any data, to check on any file. Nope, not gonna happen. Second of all if it’s on there it’s more vulnerable to getting stolen. That both means someone theoretically has my ID and I don’t have it. Lastly I need my ID, oh my phone battery just expired. I have nothing.,

    Nope, just nope to my DL or Passport on my iPhone.

  6. paikinho

    Could just say. Hey Siri, Show my license to the kind officer and then it would pop onto the lock screen. Or perhaps there could be a mechanism to share it so that it would pop up on the officers computer/device etc so he could check what is needed for the stop without touching someones phone.

  7. Lee Dronick

    Digitize it, but carry your physical ID and show that when some official wants to “see your papers.” Should you happen to lose your wallet then at least you would have some form of ID.

    Apple could wall in the ID garden and require your passcode, finger print or whatever to get outside of it. Maybe 5 second view of the ID before the screen blacks and locks out.

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